Mattl’s Matters: Creed Humphrey

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Mattl is reviewing our draft picks, come check it out and share your thoughts!

Editor’s Note: This post is written by AG user Mattl.

With the 63rd pick in the draft, the Chiefs selected Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey. To say the least, I
am extremely excited about adding him to this team. (I usually refer to players by their last name, but
can we all agree that Creed sounds better than Humphrey? Great.)

First let’s look at Creed’s profile. He’s 6’4” and weighed 302 pounds on his Pro Day. For those of you into
RAS (Relative Athletic Score, a measure of a player’s physical size and testing numbers, in relation to
other players at that position), Creed scored a 10.0, which makes him the highest-ranked center out of
496 centers since 1987. In other words, no center in the last 25 years has tested better than Creed.

Testing numbers aren’t everything, of course, but it’s nice to have a player with phenomenal traits at a
position where the Chiefs need help. As far as experience, he started the final 36 games of his Oklahoma
career, winning Big 12’s Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2019 and 2020. To summarize, we have an
athlete who tested off the charts, was durable enough that he started 36 consecutive games, and twice
won his conference’s award for best lineman. Guys, I think we have something to work with here.

Along with Nick Bolton, I believe that Creed will be a Week One starter. While some folks on
Arrowhead Guys have mentioned that Reid doesn’t like to start rookie linemen, I suspect we’ll see an
exception here. His main competition should be Austin Blythe, but Blythe has not played a snap for the
Chiefs yet either, so it’s not as if Blythe has a big experience advantage in Reid’s offense. And frankly,
Creed doesn’t impress me as a guy who will accept not starting. He’s just too competitive for that.

After watching Mahomes get hit (often by multiple defenders) play after play in the Super Bowl, Chiefs
fans were understandably concerned about the offensive line heading into the offseason. There were
whispers that we were wasting Mahomes’ best years due to inadequate protection. Those concerns only
intensified after the release of Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher, two long-time starters. If there is such
a thing as offseason panic, that’s what Chiefs fans momentarily experienced. Then the sun broke
through the clouds and the Chiefs quickly addressed the left side of the line by signing elite left guard
Joe Thuney, then pulled off a fantastic trade for left tackle Orlando Brown. Suddenly the offensive line
looked much improved heading into the draft.

When Creed’s name was announced as the 63rd pick, I got a big smile on my face, pumped my fist and
gasped “Yes!” (I live alone, but my dog did give me a funny look). I honestly wasn’t sure that Veach
would invest a draft pick in an offensive lineman when there were other needs, and he had already
performed a minor miracle with the Thuney and Brown acquisitions. The fact that he (and presumably
Reid) like Creed this much should make all Chiefs fans feel very good about the offensive line heading
into the 2021 season.

A word of caution: as good as the Chiefs offensive line looks on paper, we all know that games are won
out on the field. Defensive coordinators will be continually throwing new looks and blitz packages at
Mahomes. It won’t be as simple as a Chiefs offensive lineman playing better than the man lined up
across from him. The Chiefs are going to need an offensive line that communicates, that can sense
stunts or cornerback/safety blitzes, and simply is just prepared for the unknown every week. It’s
something that they have to live with since they will presumably be their opponent’s biggest game of
the year.

How does this relate to Creed? Well, he’s known in part for his high football IQ. For a center, that’s a big
deal. I believe his intelligence will help him get in sync very quickly with Mahomes and, like Orlando
Brown intimated, he’ll take the job of protecting Mahomes very personally. I’m on board 100% with this pick, and
I believe Creed Humphrey will be the Chiefs center for the next decade and be an integral part of
numerous deep playoff runs.

One final note. I rarely criticize players since I try to focus on the positives. However, I’m going to make
an exception in order to make one brief point. If we look at the Chiefs previous two second round draft
picks (Mecole Hardman in 2019 and Willie Gay in 2020), and compare them to the second round picks
on Friday night, something really stands out to me that separates the two groups: Bolton and Creed’s
love and passion for football.

Some naysayers may not believe that’s a big deal, or they’ll claim that I’m reading too much into things.
But we’ve seen firsthand the lack of development by an incredibly talented Hardman; and we’ve seen
(admittedly in just one season of play) Gay struggle to even get on the field, despite his speed and skill.
At some point, we’re bound to wonder whether they have that “it” factor that pushes guys to excel.

Thankfully, with Bolton and Creed, we’ll never have to worry about that. Seriously, these guys love
football; they love playing football, and they seem to love talking about playing football. I don’t think it’s
a coincidence that Veach targeted these two guys. Obviously, not every player will have the same
passion for football as Mahomes or Mathieu or Kelce. But doggone it, I think Bolton and Creed are right
up there with them. That gives me great hope that they will not only be immediate contributors, but
that they will continue to learn and improve every time they step out on the field. The future is bright in
Kansas City.

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steve_chiefs
steve_chiefs
05/04/2021 4:16 pm

I absolutely love the summation Matt

I get all excited all over again 🙂

Mattl
Mattl
Reply to  steve_chiefs
05/04/2021 5:04 pm

Thanks, Steve – I appreciate it. I’m pumped about Humphrey’s long-term future with us.

SCKSChief
SCKSChief
05/04/2021 12:53 pm

What’s the deal with the formatting? Good stuff, but the last two posts have been TOUGH to get through.

BleedingRedAndGold
Reply to  Tony Sommer
05/04/2021 3:51 pm

My bad, too. Checking the preview started to cross my mind, but everything looked just fine. Lesson learned (I hope, anyway).

SCKSChief
SCKSChief
Reply to  Tony Sommer
05/04/2021 5:48 pm

Just curious. Glad we know how to fix it!

larch
05/04/2021 12:29 pm
steve_chiefs
steve_chiefs
Reply to  larch
05/04/2021 4:17 pm

Don’t Bogart my Humphrey Larch

BleedingRedAndGold
Reply to  steve_chiefs
05/04/2021 4:32 pm

Humph!

zulu trader
zulu trader
05/04/2021 11:52 am

Here’s to successfully rushing the ball

Severely Concussed
Severely Concussed
05/04/2021 11:27 am

This guy was at the top of my draft wishlist. He is nasty, smart, athletic, and experienced.

I don’t think what hindered Mecole or Gay was a lack of passion. Both were limited in terms of game experience in college.

Bolton played in 32 games. 22 starts.

Creed played in 39 games. 36 starts.

Mecole had six starts and was mostly a special teamer his first 2 seasons.

Gay had six starts.

SCKSChief
SCKSChief
Reply to  Severely Concussed
05/04/2021 12:53 pm

Mecole isn’t good. I would really like to see two more WR added before camp. Would also love to see Fortson given a REAL chance.

Mattl
Mattl
Reply to  Severely Concussed
05/04/2021 5:07 pm

The lack of playing time is a fair point, absolutely. After two years for Hardman though (38 pro games, I believe), do we really see the development? Is he that much of a better player now than he was September 2019? I’ll let people more knowledgeable than I am decide, but I personally don’t see it. I hope, truly hope, I’m wrong. I really like Hardman and I want him to succeed. Our offense would be nearly unstoppable if that happened.

I still hold out hope for Gay. I probably shouldn’t have been hard on him. To my amateur eyes, his effort was there…..just not sure I see the same passion that other defenders seem to have. That may come organically as he gets more comfortable. Just imagine if both Gay and Bolton hit their respective ceilings.

ArrowFan
ArrowFan
05/04/2021 11:06 am

I love his guy as well. We are going to experience an OL renewal like no other in the history of the franchise. As excited as I am about protecting PM. It will also be nice to run the ball forward as well.

Mattl
Mattl
Reply to  ArrowFan
05/04/2021 5:09 pm

I often think of our failed red zone conversions due to our inability to run the ball, forcing Mahomes to throw into an end zone vs eight defenders. I imagine we’ll see better results this year.

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